Creator Spotlight: Jordan Williams and the Art of the Craft

The course of Jordan Williams’ life changed with a visit to his local comic book shop. An art student at the time, Jordan was responding to an advertisement for the inauguration of a comic book creator club. That first step would eventually lead to the creation of Gunpowder Witch, his debut graphic novel.

“I stopped by the shop a week before the event to check it out. It was the rst time I ever stepped foot in a comic shop. That next Wednesday night, I talked myself into go- ing, knowing that I wouldn’t know a single person there,” said Jordan. “Since then my comic creating community has been instrumental to my growth as a comic book creator. In its early beginnings, our comic book creator club first motivated me to work on this graphic novel.”

Jordan adds, “When the creator club started, no one in our group knew much about making comics. Over the years, we taught ourselves each aspect of the comic creating process from information found online, in how-to books, and from meeting others.”

After getting his pen wet with some short comic anthologies, Jordan was ready to tackle a longer graphic novel. A fan of what-if scenarios, he envisioned a story that would insert superheroes into a historical setting.

“I thought up the idea of superheroes getting mistaken for witches during the Salem Witch Trials because of their unexplainable powers. This period was, in my opinion, the most fertile for the drama of this story and t the best with the overall theme I was going for. Archaic religious dogma, hysteria, and a very old understanding of science and reason made this time period perfect for a story like Gunpowder Witch,” Jordan explained.

The next years would and Jordan hunched over a policeman’s drafting table gifted by his father as he illustrated Gunpowder Witch. The comic creator prefers an uncluttered work area with a desk lamp and a few art pens. While drawing he enjoys a diverse background soundtrack of vinyl records, movies, and television shows. When coloring he draws inspiration from Bob Ross Joy of Painting marathons.

“I try to keep the movies and TV shows towards things that I don’t need to pay close attention to, other- wise I get too distracted,” he explained.

Getting distracted while making the book wasn’t the only challenge Jordan would face. A typical comic book is a collaborative endeavor between an artist, a writer, a colorist, and a letterer. Gunpowder Witch is a solo effort by Jordan, which added to his workload.

“The biggest challenge was doing every step of the creative process myself and keep- ing myself motivated after drawing so many pages, knowing that I still have a lot more to draw. And then on top of that, knowing that after all that I will have to color and letter them all too. It was easy to fall out for a while here and there when I lost motivation. I’m glad I always got back up at my desk and got back to work, though,” said Jordan.

Jordan again attributes his successful completion to the support he received from his fellow comic book creators. “About a dozen of us would meet every week at the comic book shop, and I was pushing myself all week to get as much work done, as best as possible, to bring to the Wednesday night meetings to show the other people in the group. This atmosphere pushed everyone in the group to stay busy. No one punished anyone or made fun of anyone for not having anything new to show, but no one wanted to show up empty-handed when everyone else was showing up with new, completed work.”

The comic book creator club would eventually give birth to Stache Publishing, with Jordan as a founding member. Today, Jordan oversees social media for the publisher and assists with the production of new works. It gives him a chance to pass on to others the joy of making comics.

“I really enjoy helping people turn their comics into printed masterpieces. I’ve seen some good efforts turn into amazing graphic novels in the short few years Stache has been publishing. It makes me proud of my publishing company, proud of my partners, and proud of the creators,” he explains.

While working toward the completed graphic novel, Jordan toured various conventions with chapter installments. The positive response also encouraged him to stay the course to finish his miniseries.

“It’s a magical feeling when someone comes up to your table, drawn in by your character, and ends up spending their hard-earned money to buy something you created. When fans come by and tell me that they read my rst issue of Gunpowder Witch, loved it, and were there to buy the next issue, I feel like a million bucks,” said Jordan.

Conventions also provided an opportunity for fun and bonding with his fellow creators. Jordan fondly recalls “numerous stories ranging from turning a hotel bathtub into a beer cooler full of ice, having a talk with former WWE wrestler CM Punk about my comic book, sleeping a dozen people in a hotel room, passing around a bottle of Fireball until we all hated Fireball, losing track of a decent number of people in our group countless times.” He adds, “We could really write a book on all our convention adventures.”

At the end of a four-year creative marathon, Jordan considers himself relieved to have accomplished the creation of his first graphic novel.

“I am really proud that I finished this graphic novel, stayed true to the message I was putting out there, and produced, in my eyes, some quality work. I hope a lot of people get something out of Gunpowder Witch,” said Jordan.

Having finished Gunpowder Witch, Jordan plans to continue his work in comics. He is looking forward to experimenting with short comics in various anthologies. When asked if he had future plans for the Gunpowder Witch characters, Jordan said, “Nothing is definite yet. But I believe that you will see Rebecca Bell again.”

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